Lean Leadership originated in Japan from an unlikely place, Toyota Headquarters. The idea of lean leadership was created to eliminate “muda” or waste while streamlining production. Through a continual effort to decrease inefficiency, the lean leader strives to create a more efficient organization.
Book to read
The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence through Leadership Development
by Jeffrey K. Liker and Gary L. Convis (2011)
Quick Take from the Book
The seven types of waste that a lean leader focuses on includes:
1. Delay: Delay on the part of customers waiting for service or for delivery, time spent in queues or awaiting a response, or when the item/service was not delivered as promised.
2. Duplication: When a staff member has to re-enter data, repeat details on forms, copy information, or answer queries from several sources within the same organization.
3. Unnecessary Movement: Redundancy of movement within a process or poor ergonomics in the service encounter.
4. Unclear Communication: Time spent seeking clarification, confusion over product or service use, and wasting time finding a location that may result in misuse or duplication.
5. Incorrect Inventory: When inventory is out-of-stock, when the provider is unable to get exactly what was required, or when substitute products or services are unavailable.
6. Opportunity Lost to Retain or Win Customers: This occurs when there is a failure to establish rapport, ignoring customers, or when the staff is rude to customers.
7. Service Transaction Errors: This occurs when there are product defects, service errors, or lost/damaged goods.
Quote Of Note
In reference to the view that workers have become automatons prior to the innovation of the Lean Production System-“This worldview is pervasive. It has become so completely the norm within business environments that people don’t even see it, just as a fish cannot see water.” –The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence through Leadership Development.
See also: Results-Based Leadership